In need of encouragement

Hello everybody,

I’ve been reading posts for months now and almost feel like I know many of you. I’ve always meant to write myself but never knew where to start. Sorry for the lengthy post that follows but here goes…

Like many of the stories I’ve read here, I was an unfocused pre-med undergrad. I graduated in 1993 with a 3.25, and a 3.0 BCPM. I knew I didn’t have the grades to apply to medical school so I went to work at a city hospital doing research on access to care among HIV patients. In 1997, I went back to school and did very well in a Master’s In Public Health Program (3.96) and applied to medical school. At the time I didn’t realize that none of my public health classes would contribute to raising my low BCPM. When I didn’t get in, I resigned myself to the fact that medicine wouldn’t be for me. I went on to have a fulfilling Public Health career working on projects in HIV prevention in minority communities, immigrant health issues and access to care among vulnerable populations.

I was very happy until about two years ago when I began to feel restless. After months of soul searching, I realized that I had never given up the dream of pursuing medicine. In September of 2006 I began a Master’s Degree In Medical Sciences program at BU. At first I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with my younger classmates, but in fact I found that my time away contributed to making me a much more motivated and hard working student. I took Physiology, Histology, Endocrinology and Biochemistry, among other classes, and did very well (3.75). I am in my second year of the program and writing my thesis while waiting to hear back from medical schools and am beginning to feel very discouraged. Despite having good grades in this program, years of research and work experience, excellent letters of recommendation and passable MCAT scores (9ps/9bs/11vr and then 8ps/10bs/12vr), I haven’t had much response from schools. I’ve had two interviews (BU and UMass), four rejections and still haven’t heard anything from nine schools. I know its not over yet but the endless waiting and little good news is beginning to erode my confidence. I haven’t given up yet but I am beginning to mentally prepare for the possibility of taking the MCAT again (groan) and reapplying. I want to do this more than anything else I’ve ever wanted and any advice or encouraging words would be greatly appreciated. Maya

I can see how this would be disappointing, but don’t get too down on yourself! It sounds like you are a well-rounded, well-qualified, very motivated applicant. You may yet get some good news this year. Worst case scenario, if you’re motivated enough to make another effort, I suspect it will work out for you.

I really do think that this process is something of a crapshoot. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, somebody applies to 23 schools and is accepted at 3. If he hadn’t applied to those particular 3, he would have applied to 20, and gotten no love. As counterintuitive as it sounds - and as trite ase those well-intentioned GFY letters come across - whether one gets into medical school doesn’t necessarily correlate with whether one is qualified to become a physician.

You truly want this, and it sounds like you have the background and the approach to do it well. If it’s what truly drives you, don’t let anything stand in your way.

And welcome to OPM! Thanks for un-lurking - always good to see new faces around here .

Thanks Adam. I’m trying to keep positive but some days are just frustrating!

Hey Mouse,

Welcome to OPM… and as Adam said - don’t get discouraged.

You might still get accepted this year! Make sure you call the schools you’re still waiting to hear from, and let them know that you’re still interested in them! Just remind them about yourself.

There are still few months left in this year’s application process.

Did you apply to New England Schools only? You seem to be a well-rounded person and have OK MCAT and have a competitive academic record… but I’m also aware that all schools at your part of the woods are really hard to get in; which doesn’t make you a non-qualified person! You’re just competing against stronger candidates than most of the people in other schools do! If for some reason you don’t get accepted this year, make sure that you’ll apply broader next year and… that you’ll call the schools where you’ve applied this year and talk to them how you can improve your application.

Good luck and… don’t loose your hope!


Hi Kasia,

I’m still hoping for a yes this year, but as we get closer to the end of the interview season I’m getting nervous. With just two interviews, all my hopes are pinned on just two schools. I thought that my application was at least strong enough to get a few more interviews so I’m a little disappointed with the lackluster response. I think I will call again Monday and advocate for myself.

As far as schools, I applied to schools in NE and DC. I was going to apply further out but it seemed like lots of states had mainly state schools that I thought I wouldn’t be competitive for. If I have to do this all over again next year I will definitely re-evaluate my list. I’ve also talked to the admissions officer at one school where I was rejected and she said she would be willing to talk to me about my application after May if I don’t get in anywhere. I hope it doesn’t come to that but I’m getting prepared just in case.



I only had 3 interviews last year, and I was waitlisted until May 26th. The waiting sucked, but it paid off! I ended up with two acceptances and I got into my top-choice school! I’ve been in your place and I know how frustrating and nerve-wracking it is. But try to stay positive!